file Chord Dave dacs and mscaler

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Steveo Posted 9 months 3 weeks ago
#25672
Hi all
I have just bought a chord Dave for a ripper price sight unseen. I was wondering if we had any other chord users on the forum and wanted to see how they paired with your tritons. I am running a triton one and plan to pair them with an mscaler. I haven't had a chance to listen to them as my preamp has an issue with its digital output so I am getting that rectified this week

Any chord users on the forum?
Triton 1 Pair, Supercenter XXL, SS 3's
Digital-Nimitra Server>USPCB>Iso Regen>TX Ultra>chord dave>deqx hdp5
Analog-sp10mk2 Corian plinth, Ortofon Quintet Black , Michell Tecnoarm, PS Audio Nuwave Phono
Bel Canto REF600m L & R, Emotiva Xpa 5 Gen 2 for Center and rears
PS Audio P10

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Timecop Posted 9 months 3 weeks ago
Last edit: 9 months 3 weeks ago by Timecop. info_outline
#25673
I’ve heard the Hugo 2 and Dave via headphones (audeze LCD4, LCD X, & LCD XC) and the combination was magic. Went to the Rocky Mountain audio fest to see if I could hear a chordette or 2qute with some GEt, but it wasn’t setup when I was there. That said - if you have a Dave with T1’s, you’re in for a treat. I generally advocate for a DAC upgrade, and this one is end-game for many.

Quick note: although many people rarely pay attention to their DAC (or simply stay with whatever is included in their AVR/pre), I believe it’s the most important component to upgrade - even before speakers. Whenever I’ve had friends compliment my T2’s/GEt system and ask for advice, I’ll just plug my DAC into their system and smile as the music unfolds. For headphones, an audioquest dragonfly will achieve the same effect for a limited price. It’s not that great speakers/headphones aren’t worth an upgrade (they are!), just that a quality DAC adds the most improvement to the listening experience. The chord Dave will make any speaker sound great, it’s just that your T1’s are capeable of feats that other products only dream of.

I’m pretty sure my brain would melt if I listened to t1’s via a Dave and an M-Scaler!! Enjoy! And let us know how you get on.
Triton Two front L/R
SuperSat 50c center
Triton Seven surround L/R
SuperSat 50 surround rear L/R
AVR Marantz sr6005
Amp Marantz mm7025
DAC Fostex HP-A8C
Velodyne optimum 10” sealed, back left corner
Velodyne 8” sealed, front right corner
The following user(s) said Thank You: Pitkow33

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Steveo Posted 9 months 3 weeks ago
#25674
Thanks Timecop. I am already using a Deqx before the tritons and that has already been a game changer. Hopefully the Dave can give it another lift. I just can't help having the feeling of being crazy spending more on the Dave than I did the whole speaker set. Time will tell if it's worth it

If I knew what I was going to spend on my system before I began I may have never started :laugh: Goldnear has been addictive for me
Triton 1 Pair, Supercenter XXL, SS 3's
Digital-Nimitra Server>USPCB>Iso Regen>TX Ultra>chord dave>deqx hdp5
Analog-sp10mk2 Corian plinth, Ortofon Quintet Black , Michell Tecnoarm, PS Audio Nuwave Phono
Bel Canto REF600m L & R, Emotiva Xpa 5 Gen 2 for Center and rears
PS Audio P10

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Pitkow33 Posted 9 months 2 weeks ago
#25700
Looking forward to hearing more about the Dave in your system.....I currently have a great Naim Nova with original T2s, eyeing a Ref for T1.R upgrade on the speakers and someday maybe moving to a separates system...have been watching Chord with interest...
Mac Mini Server (2012 version) w/ Roon Server -> Naim Nova -> NAC A5 Speaker Cable -> Goldenear Triton 2s
Airtunes -> Naim Nova for convenience, Tidal, Spotify via Roon or Naim App
UpTone Audio LPS 2 Power Supply, PS Audio Dectet
GAIA II feet for Triton 2s

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Em84 Posted 9 months 2 weeks ago
#25735

Steveo wrote: Thanks Timecop. I am already using a Deqx before the tritons and that has already been a game changer. Hopefully the Dave can give it another lift. I just can't help having the feeling of being crazy spending more on the Dave than I did the whole speaker set. Time will tell if it's worth it

If I knew what I was going to spend on my system before I began I may have never started :laugh: Goldnear has been addictive for me


Hi Steveo

Can you share the chain, showing how your Deqx and Dave fit in your chain? i.e. what connects to what

Many thanks
sonicTransporter i5 & Roon Server > Digi+ PRO > Mojo > Dialogue Premium HP > GE Triton Ones

Analysis Plus Speaker Cables, Interconnects & Power Cables
Elgar Ultra High Isolation Transformer

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Steveo Posted 9 months 2 weeks ago
Last edit: 9 months 2 weeks ago by Steveo. info_outline
#25736
Hi Em84 long post incoming :)

I have my nimitra (which is simply an optimised Windows pc) hooked into the deqx via USB input. (google: nimitra)

I then connect the Dave to the deqx via the deqx's digital output. I then connect the Dave to my amps via xlr. Basically I use the deqx as my preamp with the volume and the dave is simply the dac connecting to the amps and then amp to speaker.

I do have a few usb optimisers connected between my pc and my deqx, but for the sake of simplicity I haven't mentioned those. Please let me know if you were interested in what I have, and I'll be happy to explain. Or it might be on my signature.

I have to say something here. Keep in mind this is in my room and my ears so your results may vary. I have always been happy with the goldenear and I found adding the Deqx really helped tame the tritons for my room. I live in an apartment so the T1s are too big for the space and I am sure a lot of people would agree with me. Adding the deqx tamed the low end and made the speakers sing even more than they were before. Everything became more clear and dynamic and the speakers seemed to fit the room better, if that makes any sense.

I am not here intending to knock chord products here, I just want to share what I have found.

With this Setup with all the components I first tried the Dave on its own expecting that it may outclass or replace the deqx as a preamp/dac. Surprisingly, I was wrong. The deqx was better, mainly I suppose, due to the room correction as well as speaker correction technology. That's ok I thought, it wasn't supposed to replace the deqx but I wanted to utilise the Dave purely as a dac while bypassing the deqxs (supposedly poor) internal dacs.

I then tried the Dave via the digital output as described above on the deqx. I have to say it sounded slightly different. Maybe a wider soundstage and transparency? Not nessesarily better or worse but put it this way, I didnt/don't miss it out of the chain, especially for the cost at this stage.

This was a huge shock to me. Mainly because I read so much about the Dave in industry reviews as well as end users themselves in forums. For the money, I couldn't justify keeping it in so I need to decide what I am going to do with this unit. I realise that the mscaler apparantly really tops the Dave off and I haven't tried it in my system yet. However thats another large investment and it has given me pause in considering further upgrades. I actually feel I would be better getting the triton references now instead or waiting until the triton ref active variant.

I have tweaked my system for a couple of years now, and I have to say every step was a huge improvement. Usb cables, speaker cables, power cables, the Nimitra server, definitely the deqx in a major way. But bang for buck for me the Dave wasn't there in my Setup and I had better uplifts for the cash in previous upgrades.

I feel like a fan boy for the deqx but I am only telling you what I have heard in my system. The deqx isn't a cheap unit either. The chord Dave in a way felt underutilised on my system. I have a feeling if I never got the deqx and put the Dave in I would have been over the moon.

The reason the deqx is that good I think, is because it measures and corrects whatever speaker you have to the room you are listening in. This is why you hear some people say that they hear certain speakers at dealers and weren't impressed while others will say it was incredible at their dealer or at home. Poor Setup and components come into play for sure, however it's the interaction with the room and speakers frequency timing issues inherent in all speakers that can be detrimental.

Trust me I am not affiliated with deqx or anything. Just sharing what I have seen or heard with my own ears. Check out the website Www.deqx.com and watch the info video as it explains everything a lot better. Deqx paired with goldenear to me are pretty end game and the sound I am getting, in a small space, in a challenging room, is fantastic.

The chord is a wonderful product and maybe might be better in another Setup with different components but for now I am keeping my Setup as it is. I feel crazy even mentioning this, as I have read rave reviews about the Dave and apparantly it is one of the best dacs in the world. So I'm not knocking it, as the dac design philopshy is amazing. (trust me I have researched it for years) I just feel room correction and timing made more of a difference in my system, in my room. For all I know the Dave itself may be faulty and that's something I am discussing with the dealer as it doesn't add up here. It maybe simply isn't suitable paired with the deqx or my amps, I am not sure.

I know some people who know chord would point out to me that I should be using the Dave with rca instead of xlr, and I did try that. The issue is that my bel canto amps are designed to work better with rca and I found I liked the sound better with xlr and the bel cantos without the Dave sound better with xlr. They would also point out to me that I need a different amp design compared to what I have in my bel canto amps. So this to me says that it could be a component matching issue, potentially.

I really wanted to try the mscaler with the Dave but as I said this has given me pause at this stage. The reason I wanted to try Dave is I have heard people say the deqx had poor dacs and they don't even mention which dac they are using, which is odd to me. They may well have poor dacs but it's the sum of the other components and tech in the system that might make up for it.

I am not sure and a bit perplexed however. I wanted the Dave to blow me away and get excited for the mscaler. In saying that, my wallet is happier I guess, and it shows the components I have added in the meantime have been good steps. I'm not discouraging anyone away from Dave or chord at all. In fact I may have one for sale here now for cheap haha. I still want to try a mscaler in a way, just to see what it does.. .

Like everything, it could be a matter of taste. Sound is very subjective so maybe if 100 people came and listened they would say I was mad and the Dave kills the deqx and sounds heaps better paired with the deqx than the deqx alone. It could be that I'm that 1 in a 100 who thinks otherwise. I always look for good value which is why I am happy I found goldenear in the first place and I am grateful for that.
Triton 1 Pair, Supercenter XXL, SS 3's
Digital-Nimitra Server>USPCB>Iso Regen>TX Ultra>chord dave>deqx hdp5
Analog-sp10mk2 Corian plinth, Ortofon Quintet Black , Michell Tecnoarm, PS Audio Nuwave Phono
Bel Canto REF600m L & R, Emotiva Xpa 5 Gen 2 for Center and rears
PS Audio P10

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